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An Introduction To WebRTC & What It Means For You

Jessica WeissJessica Weiss

What is WebRTC?

What is WebRTC?

What does WebRTC mean for me?

Remember a world when video phones were a thing of the imaginary future? When Austin Powers held a video call – in his car? (That was less than 20 years ago, by the way).

It seemed feasible – but far off – that we could hold clear, reliable video & audio calls from anywhere.

That idea is no longer a fantasy. While video and VoIP conferencing have been available for years, new technologies make web-based conferencing increasingly more available, affordable, and dependable.

While most legacy web conferencing technologies require an external application download (think Skype, GoToMeeting, etc.), WebRTC ends that requirement. Video & audio calls can occur seamlessly, without any plugins, between browsers. This peer-to-peer communication comes embedded in your web browser that, let’s be honest, you probably already have open 95% of the time you use a computer anyways. WebRTC also connects mobile devices to desktop browsers and vice-versa, allowing for real-time communication regardless of device.

This relatively recent development means that legacy hardware and software may no longer be necessary to communicate quickly and clearly with people around the globe from any device. Ultimately, WebRTC technology will facilitate all types of interactions around the world, including those in healthcare, education, business, ecommerce, and more. At the same time, it has a long way to go before it’s universally adopted by app developers and browsers.

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How do I access WebRTC?

WebRTC technology is now integrated in most major web browsers (Google developed the technology back in 2011). As a consumer, you can access WebRTC through hundreds of products that use this technology.

A few of these products include:

What are its strengths?

WebRTC helps users communicate effectively in real-time. It’s device-agnostic and free to use, which means unlimited opportunities for usage and adaptation. Users can transmit audio and video instantly without external software or hardware.

Other benefits include:

“WebRTC is democratic.” – Doug Green, editor and publisher of Telecom Reseller

What are its limitations?

While the opportunities for WebRTC technology are vast, there are still plenty of obstacles for it to reach widespread adoption. It is, however, an opportunity for innovation and progress in the collaboration and communications industry to help people communicate better and faster.

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Jess is Vast Conference's Marketing & Communications Manager. Reach out on Twitter @jweiss44.

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